Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Ed. (Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005), 17.
Understanding by Design will serve as my guide for evaluating my own effectiveness as a teacher. I expect to rely on it to gauge my own competency in developing and executing lessons. Examples throughout the book illuminating the practical applications of each of the six facets are well organized and easy to follow. I found the use of keywords and charts especially helpful in furthering my own understanding of how to uncover knowledge. I am confident that if I remain faithful to the tenets of this book, I will be able to put into practice what I believe constitutes effective strategies for learning: student-centered activities which call upon students to question assumptions, draw upon past knowledge, and advance understanding through incremental learning
Combining provocative ideas, thoughtful analysis, and tested approaches, this new edition of Understanding by Design offers teacher-designers a clear path to the creation of curriculum that ensures better learning and a more stimulating experience for students and teachers alike.
The Understanding by Design framework is a model for developing curriculum “backward” from outcomes to activities (with a few stops along the way). In broad terms, UBD is a three-stage process:
*Some standards are more closely aligned with some facets over others.
The idea is to be aware of each facet and incorporate as many as possible into
performance tasks or academic prompts.
|Six Facets of Understanding
Wiggins and McTighe discuss six facets of understanding in their book Understanding by Design (1998). Their development is a multifaceted view of what makes up a mature understanding, a six-sided view of the concept.
Explanation: Provide thorough and justifiable accounts of phenomena, facts, and data.
Interpretation: Tell meaningful stories, offer apt translations, provide a revealing historical or personal dimension to ideas and events; make subjects personal or accessible through images, anecdotes, analogies, and models.
Application: Effectively use and adapt what they know in diverse contexts.
Perspective: See and hear points of view through critical eyes and ears; see the big picture.
Empathy: Find value in what others might find odd, alien, or implausible; perceive sensitively on the basis of prior indirect experience.
Self-knowledge: Perceive the personal style, prejudices, projections, and habits of mind that both shape and impede our own understanding; they are aware of what they do not understand and why understanding is so hard.